Description: Challenge to oil and gas lease sales in National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska.
Natural Resources Defense Council v. Bernhardt
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/09/2020 Memorandum Download Summary judgment for defendants affirmed. Ninth Circuit Upheld Reliance on 2012 EIS in NEPA Review of 2017 Lease Sales in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. In an unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of environmental organizations’ claim that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to take a hard look at the potential greenhouse gas emissions from lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and failed to adequately analyze alternatives. The Ninth Circuit rejected the organizations’ argument that the 2012 environmental impact statement (EIS) could not serve as National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis for the lease sales at issue because it did not assess climate change impacts. As in the other case, the Ninth Circuit further concluded that any hard look challenge to the 2012 EIS was time-barred; the court also found that the organizations failed to preserve any NEPA supplementation claim.
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. Zinke
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 12/06/2018 Order Download Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment denied and federal defendants' and intervenor-defendant's cross-motions for summary judgment granted. Alaska Federal Court Rejected Challenges to Lease Sales in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The federal district court for the District of Alaska ruled that plaintiffs challenging 2016 and 2017 oil and gas lease sales for parcels in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska were time-barred from asserting claims that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to take a hard look at greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the lease sales or at alternative lease sale configurations, size, or timing. The court found that the plaintiffs were challenging the adequacy of an Integrated Activity Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (IAP/EIS) finalized in 2012, and that, pursuant to the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976, challenges to the IAP/EIS were required to be filed within 60 days. Moreover, to the extent the plaintiffs challenged the lease sales themselves, the court found they had waived any argument that BLM should have supplemented the IAP/EIS. The court incorporated by reference its order granting summary judgment to the defendants in a separate challenge to the 2017 lease sale. 02/02/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Launched NEPA Challenge to Oil and Gas Leasing in National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska. In a lawsuit filed in the federal district court for the District of Alaska, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. and three other environmental groups asserted that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act when it held an oil and gas lease sale in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska in 2017 and also when it held a lease sale in 2016. The groups alleged, among other things, that BLM failed to consider the lease sales’ effects on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.